In an article sure to spark controversy, Joe Carter at First Thoughts has listed his candidates for top ten worst Catholic hymns of all time, complete with links to mp3 performances. Just reading some of the comments following his post tells the tale.
I'm sure some of our "favorites" are on the list. It's not simply, although it is partly, a matter of liturgical taste. The orthodoxy of the lyrics and ease of congregational singing become important criteria for selecting church music and many argue these have been ignored for decades in favor of musical innovation.
Interesting for its uniqueness is one of the more popular songs of back-in-the-day, "Sons of God." This drinking style frat song has passed out of the repetoire, not such much because of its lack of musical taste, but its fatal use of non-inclusive language. "Persons of God" just doesn't have that tuneful feel!
The "top ten" list is a conversation starter, at least and an open question to everyone: does the simple fact that we know a hymn, or were raised with hearing it justify its continued use in the liturigcal repetoire. That surely does not seem to be a sufficient reason that many of the hymns of the 1940's and 1950's are no longer sung, not to even mention those of the 1400 and 1500's!
Read the list (take a listen) if you don't know the tune by heart and see if you can thoughtfully critique Carter's inclusion of the song on the list.
Top Ten Worst Catholic Hymns of All Time